Thursday, November 6, 2008

Saturday, November 1, 2008: Vitek's Bar-B-Q (Waco, Texas)

Lunch from Vitek's Bar-B-Q in Waco was the first of several firsts this past weekend (Others included my first Big XII football game and my first time at George's!). After an easy drive up 35 from Austin with Brad, we joined up with Ashley and Mark for some food before heading to the stadium for Baylor's homecoming game.

Vitek's is apparently the place to be before a game. It was packed. The line was out the front door. Tents were set up out back, with another line for ordering/serving. The staff were very friendly.

Vitek's is a Waco institution, and its signature item is the Gut Pak. Everyone has asked me, "Did you order the Gut Pak?" No, I didn't. Probably should've. I think going to Vitek's and not getting a Gut Pak is akin to, say, not getting a cheesesteak in Philly. Instead, I ordered sliced beef, smoked turkey, and smoked ham. Well, I found out when it was too late to turn back that the "smoked turkey" and the "smoked ham" were just cold cuts. Cold, shaved slices of deli-style turkey and ham. Major disappointment. In fact, I'm not gonna score either, b/c they don't qualify as BBQ. The sliced beef, however, was pretty good.

Mark, Ashley, and Brad, however, weren't odd men out. All had the Gut Pak.

Mark's review: "Gut Pak: May not be the best individual components, but just the right amount of chopped beef, Fritos, cheese, homemade sausage, and a delicious sauce (is it brand name?) make an incredible combination. Could eat it every day and not get sick of it (though I might eventually get sick from it). Atmosphere: They fill the room with gear and hype to let you know that what you're about to eat (which for most people is almost always the Gut Pak) is legendary. The service is personable, accommodating, and done with a smile. There's only one wooden table out back, though, so most people have to take it to go, which lessens the community appeal."

Ashley, who shared a large Gut Pak with Mark, writes, "I've had better Gut Paks from here before - had way to much grissley/fatty brisket meat, not enough of the good stuff."

Mark's scores - Gut Pak: 9.95; Atmosphere: 8.85; Overall experience: 9.45

Ashley's scores - Gut Pak: 5; Service: 9; Overall experience: 7

Brad's scores - Gut Pak: 9; Atmosphere: 7; Overall experience: 6.5

Drew's scores - Sliced beef: 8.4; Smoked turkey: No score; Smoked ham: No score; Sauce: 7; Atmosphere: 7.5; Overall experience: 7

Overall Man-Up Score: 7.4875

Vitek's Bar-B-Q on Urbanspoon


Anonymous said...

Without the gut pack none of your ratings count, Drew. The "Gut Pack" is an institution in itself in Waco. It is just the right mixure of all you want. Man, Woman, child or adult- It doesn't matter, all love it. Vegetarians miss only the gut pack when they give up meat.

It will not compare to the BBQ joints across Texas, but is in a class of its own with different requirements. I think a re-do is needed.

Drew Thornley said...

I had a feeling I might be hearing from you, Jewels.